Day 1:ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY.
Welcome to Rome! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner with wine at one of Rome’s lively restaurants.
Guided sightseeing of the Eternal City starts with a visit to the VATICAN MUSEUMS and SISTINE CHAPEL with Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment, followed by a visit to monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA to admire Michelangelo’s Pieta. Then, enjoy views of other major sites as you drive to the Roman Forum to visit the amazing COLOSSEUM, where gladiators once fought. For those who wish to see it all, an optional walking tour with a Local Guide is available to further explore Rome’s famous sites.
A pleasant drive past hilltop towns and the vineyards of Chianti brings you to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” Meet your Local Guide, and visit the ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS with Michelangelo’s celebrated David. Continue your walking tour through the historic centre and stand in awe in front of the magnificent cathedral, admire Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gates of Paradise,” and sculpture studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Afterwards, shop for Florentine leather goods and gold jewellery, sold by the ounce. Tonight try out Tuscan specialities during an optional dinner.
Arrive in Venice, city of romantics, and enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT to visit ST. MARK’S SQUARE. Admire the byzantine basilica, the Clock Tower, lavish Doges’ Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs. Also watch a skilled GLASSBLOWER fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Time to wander through the narrow streets with their numerous shops at your own pace and you may wish to join an optional gondola ride. A PASTA DINNER has been prepared for you at a local restaurant, followed by a PRIVATE WATER-TAXI ride along the Grand Canal as a proper arrivederci on your last night in Italy.
Day 5:VENICE-BELLINZONA, SWITZERLAND-LUCERNE.
Enter the Swiss Alps and stop in Bellinzona. Ride the elevator to the COURTYARD of Castelgrande, part of the fortifications dating back to the Middle Ages and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a spectacular panoramic view and a light lunch with local specialties and the delicious Merlot wine for which the Ticino area is famous. On your way to Lucerne marvel at the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps and St. Gotthard.
Join your Tour Director for a pleasant walk and admire Thorwaldsen’s impressive LION MONUMENT, dedicated to the Swiss Guards who protected the Royal House of France during the French Revolution. Walk along ornate patrician houses of the walled Old Town, then cross the famous covered CHAPEL BRIDGE to the Jesuit Church, the first large baroque church built in Switzerland on the north side of the Alps. Shop for Swiss watches or chocolates, and to make the most of your stay, choose from a selection of optional activities: climb Mount Pilatus or take a cruise on the fjord-like lake. Why not sign up for a folklore party with yodeling and alphorn blowing for a first-hand impression of Alpine merrymaking?
Day 7:LUCERNE-BASEL-PARIS, FRANCE.
Leave Basel and board the high-speed TGV TRAIN to Paris. In the afternoon, an optional excursion to the Louvre Museum with the Mona Lisa is available, and later, don’t miss an optional dinner and show at the famous Moulin Rouge!
This morning take advantage of an optional excursion to the lavish baroque Palace and Gardens of Versailles. Later, discover the world capital of chic and style with a Local Guide and admire its most renowned sites: the Opera, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, and more. During your SEINE CRUISE enjoy spectacular views of Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. Tonight, a farewell dinner awaits at one of Paris’ lively restaurants, the proper way to say au revoir, Paris.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.